Cafe Hitch-hike


Visiting homes

I guess I'll write this elsewhere (WordPad) in case my internet decides to go kerplunk again. I sit in my home on a Thursday evening, and the pup just chomped down her treat. Soon, she may hop up and relax next to my leg (she usually likes to rest her hip again my thigh, or lay alongside it). I have maybe 2 hours to go before I get ready. Hmm-mmh, another almost-end of week.

Homecoming (part 1). It was a warm homecoming to Detroit even though the weather was kinda cold. They had a long winter, which I could tell with most of the trees just starting to bud and not many flowers in bloom (they are mostly are by now). When I stepped off the plane and into the terminal, I had to rub my eyes. Where did the color go? I always knew the area was a bit drab, but it never hit me quite like that.

Bernardo... such a lovely man, really. He is trying to re-invent himself and jump-start his heart. When he laid eyes on me when he picked me up, he became fully aware of the stuff happening in my life. Nevermind the neuroses or other minor crises I write about, I'm talking promotion, home purchase, a great professional year, and oh yeah, getting in the pension (What?!? Many good things are happening at once? Surely, I'm dreaming). He figured he struck out, romantically speaking, with me. But, we enjoyed each other's company.

I showed him my haunts in Dee-troit, even down to my favorite Macedonian-owned Coney Island restaurant where I was hoping for my Greek-seasoned (nutmeg?) lasagne, but I settled for stuffed cabbage with identical seasoning. We then went to Windsor, Ontario. It seemed less lively now, and my guess was because passports are required to enter Canada and return to the U.S. It used to be a line to get into Canada. People liked to party in Windsor and hit their casinos (winnings were not taxed) and cabarets (if I'm not mistaken, exotic dancing is a legitimate profession and often a career), and drink at age 19. Bernardo was really impressed with how I was able to get to know the area and immerse myself in it.

I was very excited to be back as well. I looked back at the 3 years I lived there with zero regret and nothing but appreciation, especially as I thought of the awesome people like Big Boss, Souljah, Martha, my adviser Ol' Blue Eyes, and the others at my former institution. I felt pleased to see my alma mater growing (OMFG, why can't that shit happen at my current place???), and Detroit, with its post-industrial, rust belt splendor, was the cleanest I remember it being. It wasn't terrible when I was there in the early 2000s, but I remembered it was pretty dingy in the 80s. Oh, yeah, and I actually felt more safe there than I felt here. Fancy that as well! The people, especially the service, seemed more kind and at ease than most of the ones around here. I remembered that my old psych. once said that midwesterners are thought of as being sweet. Well, it seemed correct that weekend.

To continue my knack of finding awesome places and things to do (something B. said he noticed about me), we found a pub in Windsor with a bit of a steampunk style. We shared poutine that made his toes curl. While we travailed around my alma mater, we hit a noodle place that had just opened for their dinner hours, and both of our toes curled from the amazing food. I felt kinda bad for B. for not scoring (hahaha), but I wasn't going to force it. There was just too much getting in the way for anything to happen, and I accepted that. But, I hope that we can be a source of mutual support as we bumble with our ambitions.

I don't know if I said this here, but I'm one of a few from the hometown Latino community that went on for advanced degrees. My (step-)cousins Niko, Delia, and Lucy have doctorates, and their brother Juan has an MFA. My cousins Gabe and Mira now have their masters, and then my step-cousin Anthony has his. Bernardo is Dr. Bernardo, and then there's me... We need one more person to make it a solid 10. Um, oh yeah, and I was the first to do all of that. Bernardo is like me and thanks his lucky stars and talents for getting him the fuck out of the river valley, where he said, "I think everyone left with some type of PTSD."

Speaking of PTSD and the hometown (usually spoken in the same breath), the Detroit return was awesome. Yeah, the people I met there made most of the difference. I sure hope my return to the river valley is comparable. My mentor and I are talking things through so I won't feel so shell-shocked when I return.

My mom was thinking of not going at the end of the month. That's not good because when she makes a move like that, it's like trying to push a mule who won't budge. I guess my sis Rosepetal, with blabbing her drama all over social media, made Mom reconsider. Well, I told Mom in secret that me and my bro Deebo will join her and that I'd spot her on a hotel; we could bunk, and she wouldn't have to be in the same house as Rose and her lunacy. No, seriously, that Rosepetal could be regular on Jerry Springer or one of those types of shows. She really is all that and a Costco-sized bag of chips.

Dreaming of Rafa. I've had dreams of former beaus where I'd sneak into their homes to take back things that belonged to me, and then sneak away. I dreamed of Rafa, and I was in his townhouse. I was in his upstairs bedroom looking for things that belonged to me. The home was not in good shape and parts of it looked storm damaged. I looked and looked, and I found some very trivial things of mine. I saw that he had a girlfriend with a picture of a gringa in his room (yeah, he said he favored a fairer complexion). My phone rang, and it was him. He said his girlfriend was away for the weekend, but he wanted to see me. He didn't sound angry at all or surprised I was there. I grabbed my very few things and went downstairs, and I had seen him but then I woke up.

I think of him sometimes. Despite my anxieties whipping my ass, our big differences, and the things that frustrated me during the relationship, I look at him and the times we had quite fondly. I'd never say Rafa was a bad person because he wasn't. Overly sheltered, childish in some respects, and always taking the easy way out, yes, but not a bad person. As I kept returning to Miami in the past year for my own fun, the anxiety started to fade and I felt like I kinda owned the place!

Rafa and I haven't spoken since we broke up. If I could say anything to him, I'd tell him he was special, and so were the times and experiences we had. I will never forget our trips together, holding him before we'd wake, or the beautiful dances we had at family and other events. It was not a mistake, and I don't consider that time a waste. I wished things could had turned out differently, but what I can say is I'm glad for what we had, and I can leave it at that.

downwind | upstream